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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2001 Summer;11(2):131-42.

Sertraline effects in adolescent major depression and dysthymia: a six-month open trial.

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  • 1Mental Health Patient Service Unit, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Canada.


This 6-month open-label study evaluated the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of sertraline in 21 adolescent psychiatric outpatients, ages 12 to 18 years, diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 13) or dysthymic disorder (DD, n = 8). Both groups showed clinically significant improvements on the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and the Clinical Global Impression Scale-Severity (CGI-S). The MDD group showed maximal clinical response (based on the method of last observation carried forward) on the HAM-D and CGI at weeks 12 (76.9%) and 20 (76.9%), respectively. Response rates were maintained at week 24 with all six MDD study completers (100%) responding to treatment. The DD group achieved maximal response on the HAM-D (100%) and the CGI (75%) at week 6. Response rates in this group did not remain as elevated over time with two out of three (66.7%) DD study completers responding to treatment at week 24. Generally, sertraline was safe and well tolerated. Most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity and resolved with no action taken. Results suggest that sertraline may be efficacious in acute and continuation treatment of MDD in adolescents. DD patients showed evidence of clinical response and improvement, particularly in the acute treatment phase. Incorporating a longer evaluation period in the study of antidepressant therapy for adolescents with MDD and/or DD is emphasized.

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